A Second World War & Korean War Group to the Royal Artillery
A Second World War & Korean War Group to the Royal Artillery - Battledress blouse is fabricated from a brownish khaki wool and is adorned with "ROYAL ARTILLERY" cloth flashes on both shoulders. Below the shoulder flash on the right shoulder is a three-colour embroidered parachute wings patch above a white and black embroidered "O" patch, symbolic of the 29th Independent Infantry Brigade Group. On the left shoulder, below the flash, is a two-colour screen-printed Commonwealth Division insignia with the King's crown. There are button down epaulet straps on each shoulder, which are held in place via olive green plastic buttons. The collars are sewn in place to the body of the blouse. The front has two pockets, one on each breast which have decorative straps giving them a pleated-look with the olive green plastic buttons at the top, each pocket has a fold over flap with a reinforced button hole. There are loose threads in place above the left pocket, where a ribbon bar once resided. The front is completed by a vertical row of five olive green plastic buttons on the right side, facing an equal number of reinforced button holes on the left, covered by a full-length flap. The second button from the bottom has been re-sewn to the blouse using black thread, while all other buttons are sewn in place using the original khaki thread. When the buttons are fastened, they remain invisible to the eye, covered by the flap. Along the waistline at the front is a strap on the left side, and when fed through the metal belt loop on the right side, ensures a snug fit at the waist. Both sleeves have button down cuffs with green plastic buttons on both sides. Inside, the waistline is reinforced with a 75 mm wide cotton band, with two reinforced buttonholes at the rear, along with a loop sewn in place at the collar for hanging the blouse from a hook. There is a deep cotton-lined pocket with a side-entry near the opening of the blouse. Sewn to the pocket is a manufacturer's label, screen-printed in black ink "Battle Dress Blouse / 1949 Blouse / Size 8 / Height 5ft. 7in. to 5ft. 8in. / Breast 37in. to 38in. / Waist 32in. to 33in. / J.S. THOMSON, LTD. / 1950" above the British Broad Arrow insignia, with a large partially-faded screen-printed "8" below the label. The blouse measures 460 mm across the shoulders and 560 mm in length overall. It displays nice texture and quality workmanship, clean, retaining its original look through quality stitching and the high grade materials used. Accompanied by a Souvenir Photo Album (containing forty-five black and white photographs taken while Perks was in the Egyptian theatre, with subjects including: soldiers, army vehicles, ships, natives, monuments, buildings, mosques, and much more, the crocodile leather front cover with a painted scene that illustrates three pyramids and housing on the banks of the River Nile, 170 mm x 230 mm, white cord bound); a Large Group Camp Photograph (black and white, gloss finish, six rows of soldiers, with Perks sitting in the front row and marked with an "X" below him, studio stamped "Photographs of W.A. Puddicombe The Strand Studios EXMOUTH" on the reverse, 161 mm x 211 mm, tear on the right side, edge wear); two hundred and ninty-one loose black and white photographs, ten of which have post card backers, that documents his Second World War exploits in Libya, along the River Nile in Egypt, and in the Italian theatre, in addition to those relating to his service during the Korean War (taken in Tokyo, Japan; in Hiroshima, Japan five years after the dropping of the atomic bomb; near Kimpo Airfield on the Inchon Peninsula in Korea; "digging in" on the Inchon; 116 Battery Command Post on the bed of the River Imjin; a 25 pound gun; a collapsed Han River Bridge east of Seoul; Perks warming his hands on a chimney pipe near Seoul; U.S. transport aircraft, along with many others, with many of these photographs having personal inscriptions in ink on the reverse, various sizes); six Hiroshima Postcards (black and white, matte finish, e.g. one inscribed "A VIEW OF THE SOUTH WESTERN SECTOR OF THE CITY FROM THE A101 BRIDGE NEAR THE EXPLOSION CENTER, ONE YEAR AFTER REHABILITATION GOT UNDER WAY.", three with "ATOM HIROSHIMA" stamps on the reverse, three with "HIROSHIMA" stamps on the reverse, post card backers, 87 mm x 139 mm each); Instructions Marked "Secret" (dated April 22 to 25, 1951, regarding the Battle of the Imjin); Rear British Commonwealth Korean Base Daily News Sheet (dated Monday, December 18, 1950); The Crown News (Journal of 1 Commonwealth Division, dated Thursday, October 11, 1951); The Circle News (Journal of the 29th Independent Infantry Brigade Group, Volume II, Number 49, No. 185 in Korea, dated Monday, May 21, 1951); The Lookout Bulletin (Volume III, No.1, dated Saturday, March 17, 1951); Worcester Sauce News Bulletin (dated Monday "At Sea"); Maple Leaf Sunday Supplement (2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Volume I, Number 10, Miryang, Korea, dated Sunday, February 11, 1951); Newspaper Article from the Japan News (dated Thursday, May 10, 1951, pages 5 & 6, about the 1st Battalion Gloucester Regiment); Letter on British Commonwealth Forces Headquarters Letterhead (handwritten, explaining the proper use and care of a Mycro Camera); M.V. "Empire Pride" Dinner Menu (dated Sunday, December 9, 1951); Pay Slip; and Nissho Burlesque Show 5th Floor Theatre Program No. 85 (a Tokyo Strip Club, colour cover with duo-tone copy and illustrations inside, 8 pages). Footnote: Stanley Albion Perks was born on August 30, 1922 in England and as a young man, enjoyed speed-skating and cycling. He began his military career in 1939, as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery (Field). That same year, he was transferred to the Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, then later attached to the Royal Air Force as a Gun Control Assistant. He returned to the Anti-Aircraft Battery just in time for the Battle of Britain. Perks was later transferred to the Middle Eastern theatre, and was on duty during the Siege of Tobruk, Libya in 1941. He followed that with a stationing in Egypt, where he began training as a radar and radio operator. The training would prove to be the first step he would take towards a career in communications. He left Egypt, crossing the Mediterranean into the Italian theatre, where he would finish out the war as a Qualified Parachutist with the Racing Support Regiment. He returned to England in 1945 and served with an Anti-Aircraft Battery until joining the Army Reserve in 1946. On one occasion, Perks phoned the operator to get a number for a speed-skating rink. He liked the sound of the operator's voice, and phoned her back, inviting her to come and watch him speed-skate. The woman, Eileen "Thelma" Hall (born November 29, 1925 in Birmingham, England), agreed to the offer and the two began dating, later marrying on June 21, 1947 and settling in Birmingham. In 1950, the British Commonwealth Forces opted to have Perks handle a radio operator's duties with a Field Artillery unit engaged in the Korean "Police Action", later developing into the Korean War, arriving in Korea from Japan aboard a Royal Army Service Corps LST, the "Frederick Glover". Before seeing action in Korea, he spent two months in Japan on a refresher course. Upon his return form Korea, he was with the Army Reserve for an additional nine years, along with working in telecommunications for the British Post Office. Stanley and Thelma Perks, along with their two children, David and Susan, emigrated to Canada in 1961, settling in New Liskeard, Ontario, where Stanley Perks worked in communications for Northern Telephone and his wife, Thelma, also worked there as a clerk. It was here that he also assumed the role of Commanding Officer of Air Cadet 536 Squadron for several years. In 1974, the family moved to Fergus, Ontario, where Stanley continued to work in telecommunications, employed at International Telephone & Telegraph, with his wife also working at the same employer. He later worked at G.W. Hall Distributing and at KhanTel. the couple later moving to Milton, Ontario in 1984. In 2003, at the age of 80, Perks moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to be closer to his daughter, Susan, and to his wife, Thelma, who was now in a nursing home in Winnipeg since 2002. During the next few years, Stanley Perks volunteered at Vista Park Lodge, with CASARA (Civil Air Search and Rescue Association), and at the Western Canada Aviation Museum. He enjoyed travelling, and greatly enjoyed his yearly trips to Australia. Thelma Perks died on July 28, 2004, at Vista Park Lodge Personal Care Home in Winnipeg, at the age of 77, due to complications related to Alzheimers Disease. Eight years later, Stanley Perks died on Sunday, July 15, 2012, at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, at the age of 89, from a very aggressive form of liver cancer. In compliance with his final wishes, there was no funeral service. Instead, he asked that donations be made in his honour to the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg.